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The stories of 18 people who shaped Michigan

Mar 2, 2015

Bill Haney has spent many years in communications and book publishing in Michigan. 

His new memoir What They Were Thinking: Reflections of Michigan Difference-Makers tells the stories of the many special Michiganders he's come to know throughout the years.

The book includes profiles of 18 Michigan men and women, including the legendary sportscaster for the Detroit Tigers Ernie Harwell.

Haney says the book includes people who are well known and some who are not, but "the common denominator was people who made a difference, whatever field they might be in."

While much has been written about the more famous figures in the book, Haney says he felt much of it was often superficial and redundant.

"I felt there was much more to them," Haney said.

The book includes a profile of Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Haney describes him as delightful and having a good sense of humor, saying they had a warm relationship.

He found that with most of the public figures profiled in the book.

"They may have this persona and this public image," Haney said, "but at the end of the day, they're really just people."

Though the one exception may be Ernie Harwell.

"Ernie was just exactly what you would expect that he would be. He was Ernie Harwell," he said. "There was no artifice -- no pretense. There was just one Ernie Harwell."

Haney will be reading from his book and signing it at the Literati bookstore Tuesday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m.

Some proceeds from the book will be donated to Reading Works in Detroit which helps to fight illiteracy.